A surprise twist sets up the cracker of a cliffhanger


From the Lock & Mori series , Vol. 2

The adventures of a modern Holmes and a girl Moriarty, begun in Lock & Mori (2015), continue.

When Jamie Moriarty—Mori—proved her abusive father was the serial killer responsible for murdering Mori's con-artist mother and best friend, it just complicated her life. Sure, as a 16-year-old she's allowed to live alone, but her beloved kid brothers are saved from the foster system only by the fortuitous appearance of their dead mother's BFF. Mori's ex-cop dad has too many allies in the police force; are they responsible for framing Mori by leaving a dismembered hand in her rubbish bin? Mori's relationship with her brilliant classmate Lock—Sherlock Holmes himself—develops romantically (was the gender-swap really necessary to add sexual tension to this century-old pairing of beloved enemies?), but Mori keeps a distance, protecting her heart. Sherlock repeatedly imposes on Mori far too often (while mouthing platitudes about respect), with unpleasant boundary pushing that leads Mori to doubt herself. Luckily, she's a splendidly resourceful heroine: despite her gaslighting father, her pushy boyfriend, and the multiple murderers who trash her house and leave a corpse in her doorway, Mori keeps her own wise counsel and solves the many puzzles around her. Copious Americanisms weaken the London setting of these white teens.

A surprise twist sets up the cracker of a cliffhanger . (Thriller. 12-15)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-2306-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes


From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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In an unnamed country (a thinly veiled Philippines), three teenage boys pick trash for a meager living. A bag of cash in the trash might be—well, not their ticket out of poverty but at least a minor windfall. With 1,100 pesos, maybe they can eat chicken occasionally, instead of just rice. Gardo and Raphael are determined not to give any of it to the police who've been sniffing around, so they enlist their friend Rat. In alternating and tightly paced points of view, supplemented by occasional other voices, the boys relate the intrigue in which they're quickly enmeshed. A murdered houseboy, an orphaned girl, a treasure map, a secret code, corrupt politicians and 10,000,000 missing dollars: It all adds up to a cracker of a thriller. Sadly, the setting relies on Third World poverty tourism for its flavor, as if this otherwise enjoyable caper were being told by Olivia, the story's British charity worker who muses with vacuous sentimentality on the children that "break your heart" and "change your life." Nevertheless, a zippy and classic briefcase-full-of-money thrill ride. (Thriller. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-385-75214-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: David Fickling/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

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